Renewed Hope For Lee Quarry Trails And Trail Centre

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Although it seems like we’ve been here before, nearly a decade ago, we’re back with news of council-backed plans for a trail centre building to support the rocky trails at Lee Quarry in Lancashire, along with work to develop the the quarry trails again. The last lot of plans appeared to get trounced by the days of austerity, but it seems that there is indeed new enthusiasm for Lee Quarry trails and a corresponding trail centre from Rossendale Council.

Lee Quarry in the sunshine

We tracked down Megan Eastwood from Rossendale Council who was more than happy to tell us about some of the grand plans that Rossendale has for previously struggling small towns like Bacup that sit adjacent to Lee Quarry. As well as publishing an ‘Invitation to submit and expression of interest‘ in running a visitor and cycling centre based at the Lee Quarry trails, the council has published a ten-year strategy for the area which suggest that it is going big on the ‘outdoor’ and ‘lifestyle’ angles and has some major investment put to one side to kick start that idea.

Obviously, being a council plan, there’s a lot of long term planning, so don’t expect any dramatic changes overnight. There are, however, tenders out for architects and plans for new businesses and new buildings in the former wasteland/scary place at the bottom of the track up to the quarry. There has been new redevelopment in the Futures Park area, with a large manufacturing plant and smart new offices going into the end of the wasteland area at the end of the car-park.

There are already signs of renewed council interest, with old railway tunnels being reopened as part of the East Lancashire Cycleway nearby, taking cyclists away from the busy main road.

As we say, it’s early days in the creation of a visitor and cycle hub and in the redevelopment of the Lee Quarry trails, but there does seem to be a renewed interest from the council in getting people outdoors and a realisation that what it already has is pretty good – it just needs some love.

We’ll be bringing you news of the developments as they happen, and as the nearest international mountain bike magazine to the trails, we’re bound to get roped into things there, one way or another, so stay tuned. And if you have any suggestions about the future of the trails and the area, we know that (for once) the council is listening very intently, so leave a comment!

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Comments (9)

    It would be a brave move by anyone to get involved with Rossendale council after the why they treated Ride-on

    On reading “Obviously, being a council plan” I immediately thought it’ll be a half arsed plan.

    I hope they succeed as I used to enjoy a trip to Lee before it was left to rot and the MX bikes moved in.

    Why what happed with ride on?

    Dont bother building any new trails or features – the MX bikes will rip them to shreds, the police are confiscating the odd bike now and then but that hillside is rife with ‘crossers.

    Crossers n ebikes

    Tbf I was there 3 weeks ago and the crossers out numbered the ebikes 2 to 1 and the ebikes outnumbered proper bikes 4 to 1

    To pay the lease on a new build trail centre will mean a lot of bikes need to be shifted, the new nursery at the same site is a £1.5m build. Add in running costs etc the numbers look eye watering for a place that will be quiet 5days a week in winter. The regular addition of unwelcome visitors will also cause issues.

    There is a plot there that can’t be developed so they should stick a lit pump track in that bit which will help draw customers

    Quarry itself is in better condition than I expected when I last ride through, but the MX issue isn’t going to go away without a concerted effort over years. E bikes, TBH a think the quarry will help sell a few as the climbs can be brutal

    Do people really believe the Council will have the £££ to do this next year or at any point in the next decade?
    I hope I’m wrong.
    But there’s a monumental Bill being racked up for Covid measures and an associated ruination of the economy.
    Brexit will cost the economy much much more on top.
    The 2010-20 Austerity cutbacks will be nothing in comparison to what’s coming next.

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